Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Using Sequential Document Serial Numbers.

Using Sequential Document Serial Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 31, 2021)

If you have a need to create serial numbers in your documents and they are very simple in nature, you can do so using a macro. This approach to serial numbers is great if your serial numbers are sequential (1, 2, 3, etc.) or regular in their incidence (3, 5, 7, etc.).

To begin, you should create the macro that will control the changing of the serial number and the printing of your document. You can use the following macro:

Sub MySerial()
    Dim docCurrent As Document
    Dim rSerial As Range
    Dim iSerialNum As Integer
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim iCopies As Integer
    Dim iCount As Integer

    Set docCurrent = Application.ActiveDocument
    Set rSerial = docCurrent.Bookmarks("Serial").Range

    ' Get the starting number. Note that the serial number
    ' needs to consist only of digits (no leading letters or
    ' symbols) in order for the Val function to work properly.
    iSerialNum = Val(rSerial.Text)

    ' Get the number of copies required
    sTemp = InputBox("How many copies?", "Print Serialized", "1")
    iCopies = Val(sTemp)

    For iCount = 1 To iCopies
        ' Print the document
        docCurrent.PrintOut Range:=wdPrintAllDocument
        ' Increment the serial number
        iSerialNum = iSerialNum + 1
        ' Convert to formatted number (with leading zeroes)
        ' and put back into the document.
        sTemp = Format(iSerialNum, "00000")
        rSerial.Text = sTemp
    Next iCount

    ' Reset the bookmark, since the updating procedure
    ' wipes out the old one.
    docCurrent.Bookmarks.Add Name:="Serial", Range:=rSerial
End Sub

There is only one prerequisite to using the macro: you need to make sure that your document contains a bookmark named Serial. This bookmark should reference the serial number in your document, as you want it to appear in the first printed document. The macro assumes that the serial number will be something like "00010" or "00123", with the leading zeroes. Thus, your bookmark (Serial) should reference the five digits that constitute your serial number.

If you want your serial number to be formatted differently, then you'll need to change the macro. Don't forget that the macro assumes the serial number can be converted directly to a value that can be incremented. So, if your bookmarked serial number starts with a letter (such as "Copy 001"), that will never increment properly. Instead, bookmark only the numeric portion.

When you are through running the macro, you can save the document and the serial number will be ready for the next time you want to use it.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9540) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Using Sequential Document Serial Numbers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Enforcing a Do-Not-Use Word List

Got a list of words you don't want to appear in your documents? There are a number of ways that you can make sure they ...

Discover More

Adding Horizontal Lines at the Sides of a Word

Want to add a couple of horizontal lines at the sides of a word? It can be trickier than it sounds, but there are several ...

Discover More

Getting Input from a Text File

You can use a macro to read information from a text file. The steps are easy, and then you can use that information in ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Printing Outside the Boundaries All the Time

If Word thinks you are going to print in an area of the page that isn't printable, it will let you know. If you don't ...

Discover More

Getting a Double-Spaced Printout

When working with printed documents, many people prefer to see the document double-spaced. If you have a single-spaced ...

Discover More

Opening and Printing a Document

Want a quick, fast way to print a Word document? Here's a way that can't be beat!

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.